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OPINION: More on the doctor, cod fish and electing women

Published on

George Mathewson

A recent story about McMillen Parkway and the couple for which it was named noted that Dr. Andrew Robinson McMillen was something of a mystery man.

Well, a family member read the story online in Fort Hills, Alberta, two of the doctor’s grandsons, Andrew and Grant McMillen, contacted the Sarnia Street Project, and now we know much more.

In addition to being an MPP and developer, Doc McMillen was a coroner and Medical Examiner for “Lambton’s Own” 149th Battalion in the First World War.

A Mason, Kiwanian and United Church member, he became an entrepreneur who owned Cities Bus Service, Family Dry Cleaners and built the dance hall that became known as Rose Gardens.

Dr. Andrew McMillen died of leukemia on July 11, 1949 as McMillen Parkway was nearing completion.

As the story noted, the subdivision’s modest homes were built in a circle around a communal park and beachfront because the McMillens believed the pleasures of Lake Huron shouldn’t be restricted to the rich.

A home on McMillen Parkway in 1952 cost $7,800.


Two recent bits of news offer some hope that if we are going to hell in a handbasket perhaps the rate of decent is slowing:

1 – The UN says efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are actually having an impact. The Climate Change Secretariat assessed the reduction plans of 146 countries and concluded the “unprecedented” collective effort would cut per-person emissions by as much as 8% in the next decade. It’s a start.

2 – And a new study says northern cod stocks off Newfoundland and Labrador are making a dramatic recovery.

The largest fishery the world has every known crashed after decades of overfishing in the 1990s, leaving the northern cod commercially extinct.

But a study in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences confirmed that a fishing moratorium that’s lasted two decades is finally working. The cod stocks have swollen from tens of thousands of tonnes to more than 200,000 tonnes over the past 10 years.


By choosing 15 women and 15 men for his cabinet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created gender parity for the first time in Canadian history.

If only the electorate were so enlightened.

Of the 338 MPs voted into Parliament on Oct. 19 only 88 of them were women, or 26%, according the organization Equal Voice.

That’s virtually unchanged from the 2011 election when 25% of MPs were women.

Canada ranks 50th in the world for percentage of women elected to national parliaments, behind Afghanistan and South Sudan.

By the way, just two countries, pick more women than men for national office: Rwanda and Bolivia.



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